Solutions for power outages with BEVs?

Discussion in 'BEV or Battery Electric Vehicle' started by MPGee, Dec 25, 2015.

  1. MPGee

    MPGee Active Member

    Hi all,

    Long time lurker, here...

    I've been daydreaming about my next car... Should it be a BEV, like the Nissan Leaf, or Fit EV, or a PHEV, like a Volt? I like the idea of a "pureness" of an EV, along w/ the reduced maintenance, but what can you do in the case of a power outage? Let alone, an extended power outage, like from a natural disaster?

    I tried a cursory search a while ago, and all the links were talking about how you could power your house from your car, if the power goes out... Well, that's a nice option, but I'm thinking about the reverse.. If the @#$^ hits the fan, am I stuck w/ a $30k brick?

    I was thinking about the viability of keeping a gasoline-powered generator at home in that case, which could be useful for the fridge and/or the car, during a natural disaster. Anyone have any thoughts? (I have never owned an EV, nor a gas generator...)


    PS. I'm single, and really don't want to own more than one vehicle...
  2. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Your best bet is buying a generator. Change the oil once a year whether or not you use it, and every 3 months wheel it out of the garage, put a quart of gasoline in it, and let it run until it runs out of gas, then put it back away. This ensures that the generator stays in working condition, and should you have any problems, you can correct them before you end up needing it. The worst thing that can happen is dealing with a generator that hasn't been run in over a year, and it won't start when you need it.
  3. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    That's why a 2016 Volt is perfect for the single person who only wants ONE car that can do everything. I'd buy one myself if I thought I could afford it.

    Might buy one anyway. :)
  4. basjoos

    basjoos Well-Known Member

    If your house is connected to natural gas (mine isn't), then the whole-house generator option makes it easy. You don't have to worry about running out of fuel, they automatically start up and switch the house over to its output when the line power drops out (and shuts off automatically after the line power comes back on) and some generators can be set up to automatically start up and run for a short period of time every so often to keep the generator's motor healthy. Just have to change the engine oil according to the manufacturer's recommended schedule (and natural gas motors are slower to dirty their motor oil than gasoline or diesel engines.

    The other option would be a large bank of photovoltaic panels to charge the car (although it might take a while to top off the car's batteries if the power outage occurred during the short, often cloudy, days of a northern winter with snow threatening to cover the panels).
  5. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    Another solution is to have an off-grid solar PV system, so you can have power for your house - and your car, during a power outage.

    The flipside is during an extended power outage, you cannot pump gas, either.

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